Graduates' Magazine Reviewed
The important article in the June number of the Graduates' Magazine is President Eliot's account of the late Alexander Agassiz. It is a memorable thing to learn of the life of a remarkable man from the lips of a still more remarkable friend of his. Even those who never knew Professor Agassiz are made to feel his extraordinary energy, his singleness of purpose, and his devotion to the cause of scientific truth. His life, one of the most completely successful in the annals of Harvard or indeed of this country, is a permanent source of inspiration and encouragement; and it is most fortunate that we have such a man as President Eliot, for years his friend and colleague, to show us the greatness of that life.
Except for this article, the present number of the magazine looks rather like "Pages from a graduate's scrap-book." The table of contents is long, and the subjects varied, from the account of an astronomical expedition to South Africa to a description of the new Lampoon Building. Most of these articles are very brief; and the reader is likely to feel that a couple of more extended discussions of interesting subjects might well have replaced half a dozen or so of these smaller sketches. A few of these, however, are excellent, notably the article on the late William Everett by Rev. P. R. Frothingham '86. But many of them are mere summaries, such as we should expect to find under the departmental notes. "From a Graduates' Window" comments with not wholly fortunate jocosity on the growing cosmopolitanism of Harvard. Mr. Holman's account of "Living Harvards and their family records" is sufficiently entertaining; and it is interesting to know that the name is still borne by relatives, though not descendants, of John Harvard himself. The author of the description of the Lampoon building fairly swells with pride as he enumerates the treasures concealed within its walls. His essay reads like the catalogue of an art museum, and is about equally effective as description. Professor Royce's short speech to and on Professor James is a delightful personal tribute, interesting to all who have known Professor James, either personally or through his books.
But were it not for President Eliot's article, the present number would suffer from its "scrap-book" nature. It is, of course, important that many of these short sketches should be preserved in the Graduates' Magazine; but it is unfortunate that a number should be composed almost wholly of such things at a time when the rapid change of conditions has brought up a quantity of important questions which demand serious and extended discussion. Perhaps it is enough to say that most of the articles in the present number would not have been at all out of place in the Bulletin; and the Graduates' Magazine can certainly render its readers more important services than that. But we must be grateful to the Magazine for giving Harvard graduates so inspiring a study as President Eliot's article on Professor Agassiz; and this alone would be enough to make the number important in the annals of the magazine.